The remaking of the roster has been remarkable.
Receiver Odell Beckham was the latest addition by the Browns, arriving in a trade with the Giants that became official Wednesday afternoon. He’s a huge piece and provides the perfect opportunity to revisit just how far the Browns have come in 12 months.
A year ago they were coming off the second 0-16 season in NFL history and had a young, slow, talent-deficient roster that included three quarterbacks who didn’t have a professional win among them.
Then general manager John Dorsey went to work in his first offseason on the job.
Going 7-8-1 last season was a record turnaround but signified only the beginning. After the acquisition of Beckham, the Browns are the favorite to win the AFC North and among the favorites in the AFC to reach the Super Bowl — behind only the Chiefs and Patriots, according to betonline.ag.
Dorsey did it with trades and signings driven by aggression, knowledge and calculation. But he wouldn’t have been able to orchestrate such a makeover without courage.
His most important moves were the boldest, starting with drafting “undersized” quarterback Baker Mayfield at No. 1 and stopping — for now — with the trade for Beckham, one of the league’s most talented and popular players.
The upgrades on defense also came with risk, and shouldn’t be overlooked.
Dorsey drafted cornerback Denzel Ward and traded for defensive end Olivier Vernon and free safety Damarious Randall. He also signed defensive tackle Sheldon Richardson and cornerbacks Terrance Mitchell and TJ Carrie as free agents.
Here’s a look at the projected starting lineups on both sides of the ball, how they were acquired and by whom. There’s still a need for a starting linebacker and depth in the secondary, but the roster compares favorably with just about anyone in the NFL.
QB Baker Mayfield No. 1 pick in 2018 (Dorsey)
WR Odell Beckham Jr. Acquired in trade Wednesday (Dorsey)
WR Jarvis Landry Acquired in trade in March 2018 (Dorsey)
WR Antonio Callaway Fourth-round pick in 2018 (Dorsey)
RB Nick Chubb No. 35 pick in 2018 (Dorsey)
RB Kareem Hunt Signed as free agent Feb. 11; expected to be suspended by NFL for an undetermined duration (Dorsey)
TE David Njoku No. 29 pick in 2017 (previous GM Sashi Brown)
LT Greg Robinson Signed as free agent in June 2018, re-signed last month (both by Dorsey)
LG Joel Bitonio Second-round pick in 2014 (then-GM Ray Farmer)
C JC Tretter Signed as free agent in March 2017 (Brown)
RG Austin Corbett No. 35 pick in 2018 (Dorsey)
RT Chris Hubbard Signed as free agent in March 2018 (Dorsey)
DE Myles Garrett No. 1 in 2017 (Brown)
DT Sheldon Richardson Agreed to sign as free agent Tuesday (Dorsey)
DT Larry Ogunjobi Third-round pick in 2017 (Brown)
DE Olivier Vernon Acquired in trade Wednesday (Dorsey)
LB Christian Kirksey Third-round pick in 2014 (Farmer)
LB Joe Schobert Fourth-round pick in 2016 (Brown)
LB Undetermined after release of Jamie Collins
CB Denzel Ward No. 4 pick in 2018 (Dorsey)
CB Terrance Mitchell Signed as free agent in March 2018 (Dorsey)
CB TJ Carrie Signed as free agent in March 2018 (Dorsey)
FS Damarious Randall Acquired in trade in March 2018 (Dorsey)
SS Derrick Kindred Fourth-round pick in 2016 (Brown)